Power Consumption & Solar Charging

17/10/2022 | by Lumberjack

Lumberjack trailers & pod campers come with Century branded 95AH batteries. With some models sporting dual batteries & some with a single. When it comes to power consumption it is imperative to understand how your trailer works. This blog post will specifically cover power consumption & solar charging as well as some information about fridge use.

With our batteries, 95AH stands for 95 Amp Hours.
Meaning if you use 1Amp of powerper hour, you have 95 hours of power, however.

These batteries are deep cycle units which means when you are using them you can use 50% of their full capacity before starting to cause damage. These batteries are designed to be re-charged & topped up once hitting 50% capacity.

To calculate the total power available to you from a trailer with two batteries:
95AH Battery x 2 = 190AH Total,
At 50% usage = 95AH to use
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Fridge Use – Firefly 95L

The 95L fridge is the standard fridge most often sold with a Lumberjack model trailer. This fridge has an average power draw of 6A.

6A x hours use = amp hours
Example: 6A x 8 hours = 48 amp hours

The average fridge power draw can vary a bit depending on the following:

  • How long you want to run the fridge each day
  • Temp settings (a setting of -20 will draw more power than a setting of -2)
  • External conditions like temp/direct sun
  • How many times you open the lid & let the cold air escape, so it has to re-cool

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Solar Panels

Next let’s look at how solar panels can help to charge & replenish the power being consumed. If you have solar panels connected, just how much power are they providing to recharge?

For this example we will base it on 160w solar panels.
When using solar panels it is reasonable to expect they will not be running at full capacity the entire time. Cloud cover, dirty panels & natural sunlight levels can vary the amount of power a panel can output. Because of this variance we calculate based on the panel operating at 75% capacity.

To see how much power our solar panel can output we will calculate:
Solar Watts x 0.75 x hours of sunlight = Daily Watt hours
E.g. 160 x 0.75 x 8 hours = 960 watt hrs

To covert Watt hours to Amp hours (the measure we calculated our fridge power in) we divide the Watt by our voltage rate. Campers operate on 12v power, so we divide by this.
E.g.  960/12v = 80 amp hours

So if you have your trailer connected to a 160w solar panel for 8 hours, your trailer will receive about 80Amp hours of power input.
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In Summary

When camping you need to plan ahead for your power consumption. Understanding Power Consumption & Solar Charging can help you camp better; everything on the trailer is using 12v power when the unit is on. From your stereo system to your diesel heat, charging devices & more.
If you intend to be away for a long time you need to be able to recharge the power you take out. Through use of solar panels, or generators & chargers.
Having fridges & using the electrical components of a trailer draw power & there is a limit to how much can be consumed. Batteries can be damaged if too much power is drawn without being topped back up.